Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Get OFF the flickin’ PHONE!

This morning as I was strolling home from the daily walk with La Maya, a woman passed me in her car on a neighborhood road.

She caught my  attention because she was driving too fast for a residential street. She had both hands off the wheel and her eyes off the road while she pawed frantically through her purse, which she had balanced on her lap. Presumably she was searching for a ringing cell phone. She didn’t see me. She didn’t see my dog. All she could have seen was her purse and the junk inside it.

I wish I had a loud blatting air horn to blast at chuckleheads who drive while yakking on the phone. Folks. If you’re driving, get off the phone!

In a study recently reported in the New York Times‘s science section, researchers sent a gaudily got-up clown on a unicycle pedaling around a town square. Afterwards, they collared pedestrians and asked them if they’d seen anything unusual.

A third of walkers who were listening to music or (weird!) walking alone in silence said they’d noticed a clown on a unicycle. Even more—almost 60 percent—of those who were walking with a friend remarked on the clown. But only 8 percent of pedestrians yakking on cellphones said they’d seen the clown.

Think of that. Two in 25 cellphone yakkers were alert enough to their surroundings to notice a guy with a red nose perched on a wheel and wearing a purple and yellow outfit with polka-dotted sleeves.

What it means is that when you’re driving down the road or walking on a sidewalk next to a road, only two in every 25 drivers on cellphones see you! Maybe fewer, unless you’re wearing a red nose and a garish costume.

Damn it. Get off the phone! No one needs to be “connected” (grr!) to the entire world every living, breathing minute! It can’t be healthy for you never to have a moment of privacy, not even when you’re alone inside your car where you should be paying attention to your driving.

Very, very few items of personal or corporate business can’t wait until you get home or to the office, where you can sit down and focus solely on the person on the other end of the line. And fewer still can’t wait until you can at least find a place to pull off the road.

Even if you don’t care about the rest of us who are on the road with you, for your own personal sanity and health turn the phone off while you’re in the car. Don’t allow the cutesy ring tones or annoying jangles to intrude on your privacy, especially when you’re behind a steering wheel.

I never replaced my cell after canceling it during the Qwest Wars. Though I occasionally think it would be good to have something in the car to call for help in an emergency, I’ve never missed the thing. I have, however, watched my friends be interrupted in mid-word by jangling phones, which they feel compelled to answer while they’re crusing down the freeway or in the middle of a conversation. Some act apologetic but pick up the call anyway; others seem oblivious to the basic rudeness of leaving a face-to-face friend hanging while they turn on a phone to respond to something that, about 99 percent of the time, is trivial and could wait until after the conversation ends.

It’s just plain bad manners to drop a real-life conversation to yap on a telephone. Unless some real emergency comes up, there’s no excuse for it. You understand, the message to Friend Interrupted is “what you have to say is even more trivial than the trivial message that’s coming in on this phone. You are less important than anything else in my life, no matter how petty and transient it may be.”

And when it comes to yakking on the phone behind the steering wheel, it’s not bad manners: it’s homicidal.

What does this have to do with money?

Your insurance premiums…
My insurance premiums…
Our insurance premiums…

Your car wreck…
My car wreck…
Our car wreck…

Your medical bills…
My medical bills…
Our medical bills…

Please. Get off the phone!

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. Talking with a hand held phone is officially illegal in CA . Has it stopped anyone? Not so you would notice. Why put laws on the books that either can’t be or won’t be enforced?

    Darla (cell phone-less)

  2. I’m not sure a clown on a unicycle would qualify as “unusual” in my area. OK, actually, it would, but everybody’s trained themselves to look away from “unusual” behavior and ignore it.

  3. LOL! That may explain the experiment’s results!!

  4. I own a cell phone, but barely know how to talk on it! I use a prepaid AT&T phone that I got primarily for on-the-road emergencies. It’s turned off except when I want to use it, and I don’t know how to retrieve any messages, nor do I want to listen to them. It costs me $25 every 90 days.

  5. @ Carol: Don’t you think that’s a lot? Even, we might say, outrageous? Twenty-five bucks for nothing? Or for nothing more than what we used to be able to get with twenty-five cents at the nearest pay phone, which was always within walking distance?